Ayam Rendang

Ayam Rendang..
Rendang, which means slow cooked food, mostly beef which is cooked for hours on a very slow fire., but chicken or even jackfruit cooked on a slow fire tastes as good, this recipe is from the   the west Sumetra regions of  Indonesia. The food from these regions is normally known as Padang food, made by the minangkabao people.
Padang restaurants are popular all over the country.
They do not offer you a menu to choose from, once you are seated, a waiter will bring out   dozens of small dishes filled with various dishes. Customers take only what they want from this array, and they pay only for what they take. Usually the plates can be  about 10 to 12 varieties of food. Curries, barbequed meats, greens etc.
This food is normally eaten with hands.
And steamed rice is served.

This was a dish I fell in love with when I moved to Indonesia 37 years ago, the taste was fabulous and a little familiar to my Indian taste buds😊

My husband would get this chicken from a popular padang restaurant called sari bundo, and we would really enjoy this on many sundays.

Do try this home made version .

Indonesian chicken curry

8 pcs of chicken.( I use thigh pcs with bone)
Make cuts on the chicken to soak up the gravy.
I potato cut into 8 pcs
2 pandan leaves tied in a knot
1/2 cup fresh coconut grated, and sauted till semi dry.
Coconut milk( I used tetra pack) 200 ml
1 stalk of lemongrass( bottom white part only, bashed)
2 fresh bay leaves
5 cloves
1 pc of cinnamon
2 tbsps tamarind paste.
( I normally soak about half kg tamarind in some hot water, squeeze and strain the paste, pour into ice cube moulds. Store in the freezer and use as required, here I used 2 cubes)
1 tbsp of jaggery.

To be ground into a paste
10 shallots
5 garlic pods
1 inch pc of ginger
5 fresh red chillies
5 dry red kashmiri chillies
6 pcs of candlenuts or cashews
1 tsp white peppercorns
1 tsp corriander seeds
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg.

Heat abt half cup oil in a pan, and add bay leaves, lemon grass, cinnamon , cloves, pandan leaves and saute till herbs and spices release thier fragrance.
Add grated coconut and ground paste.
Saute till oil is seen on the sides. Add tamarind, jaggery and salt.
Also add the chicken and potato pcs.
Saute for 10 mins, add few tbsps of water and saute again. Repeat process about 5 times.
Finally add coconut milk and some water.
Stir, cover and cook for about 20 mins till oil floats on top, and a very thick gravy is left.
This rendang is always slow cooked and tastes fabulous with white rice or layered parathas.

You can even cook till no gravy is left, and then grill the chicken to get Ayam bakar rendang.
Enjoy.

Roti jala/ lacy crepes with chicken curry

Roti jala or lacy crepes as they are called have Malaysian origins, normally served with a curry, these crepes are relished at weddings, gatherings and are even sold as a street food. These pretty looking crepes are usually made from a batter of flour, eggs and coconut milk. The batter is drizzled over a hot pan in a pretty lace like pattern. The crepes cook very fast, in under a minute.

Having lived in south east asia for the last 34 years, my cooking has definetely imbibed the asean flavours. I love to mix and match flavours often resulting in fusion cusine. Take for instance curry powder, available all over the world, but my favourite one comes from malaysia. Well all said and done, my family relishes my food and does not complain, so it encourages me to experiment more.

Today the recipe I will share with you is an eggless version of roti jala with an addition of rice flour, I found this gives a better texture to the crepe as well as making it crispier.

I will also share a recipe for chicken curry, which is a fusion curry, using indian spices as well as malaysian curry powder. This type of cooking gives the curry a familiar taste for indian palete. The use of coconut milk and whole spices like corriander seeds, cumin seeds and cinnamon is common to south Indian and south east asian cooking, especially malaysia, singapore and Indonesia.

Do try this meal at home. Easy to make and even prettier to look at.

Roti jala/ lacy crepes

Ingredients

75 gms flour

25 gms rice flour

1/ 2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp salt

100 ml coconut milk( I used the ready to use tetra pack)

150 ml water

Coconut oil to brush the pan

Method

Mix all the dry ingredients together, and slowly add water and coconut milk to make a smooth batter. Let the batter rest for 15 mins.

Strain the batter into the jala mould.

Now heat a nonstick pan with oil abd slowly drizzle a little of the batter onto it , forming a pretty lacy pattern.

Now let it cook for a minute, do not flip it over, fold it inwards from 2 sides

Next, roll it neatly and remove onto a serving platter

Proceed to make the remaining crepes, you dont need to keep brushing the pan. The yield from this recipe should be 10 to 12 roti jalas.

Chicken curry/ vegetable /paneer/tofu curry

Ingredients

400 gms boneless chicken thigh cubed or boiled mix vegetables/ tofu/paneer

1 big onion ..finely chopped

1 big tomato…thinly sliced

1 tbsp garlic..finely chopped

1 tbsp grated ginger

2 tbsps curry powder( I use malaysian baba brand )

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

6 cloves..pierced into a shallot( for easy removal)

1 stick cinnamon

1 tbsp red chilli powder

Salt to taste.

100 ml coconut milk

2 tbsps coconut oil

Method

Heat oil in a pan, and add fennel, cumin seeds, cinnamon and cloves. Saute till fragrant, now add ginger, garlic and chopped onions.

When the onions become limp abd light golden, add the tomatoes, curry powder, red chili powder and salt..mix well

At this point add chicken, cover and cook till tender.

Vegetarians can add boiled vegetables, tofu or paneer.

Next, add half a cup of water and the coconut milk, simmer upto 10 mins. Garnish with fried onions and corriander leaves.

To serve, take crepe and pour some curry on the top.

Enjoy.

# roti jala moulds are available online in most countries

Try amazon or tokopedia.